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Professor Robert Coe, from Durham University:  “This seems to underline the view that improvements in GCSEs and some other examinations have had more to do with grade inflation than real sustained improvements over time.”

If we want a fairer education system we must start by putting less pressure on kids

Richer parents will always buy into extra provision – so why not ensure all pupils are put on a more equal footing

‘Old habits’ return to early academies as A-level results slump

Research shows tail-off in performance at the first state schools granted new status

Schools on course to miss Government's GCSE exam target

The science pass rate is set to drop as a result of examiners making physics, chemistry and biology papers tougher

Boys will be boys: Gender divide is growing fast at A-levels

Girls shy away from maths and science and fewer boys opt for English and creative subjects

A-levels: Probe into languages teaching as pupil numbers continue to fall

Two major investigations have been launched into the state of modern foreign languages in the wake of yet another slump in the number of candidates taking the subject at A-level.

Hannah Short celebrates grades of A*, A and B at Brighton College in East Sussex

A-level results 2013: Number of pupils scoring top grades drops for second year running

The number of top grade passes at A-level dropped for the second year running, results showed today.

The slump in applications from boys runs through all social strata

Higher university tuition fees 'putting off working-class boys'

Boys are more likely to shun university as a result of the rise in tuition fees, according to new research.

Scott Parker in action against West Ham last week

Age no barrier for Tottenham midfielder Scott Parker who sets his sights on the World Cup

The 32-year-old is hopeful of being included in squad for Rio 2014

Gove 'talked up' league table slide

England's much-lamented slide down the international education league tables may not be as bad as it seems, according to a report by a leading academic.

Hamish McRae: Markets' merry Christmas despite triple-dip talk

Economic View: Monetary policy has started to be counterproductive as it has all sorts of negative effects

Something to think about: i, the concise, quality newspaper, is on the lookout for self-motivated, energetic and organised Student Brand Ambassadors

Financial incentives – and free laptops – to be offered as universities try to woo students

Bright A-level candidates are being wooed with financial incentives this autumn as universities struggle to cling on to high-flying students.

Father jailed for stabbing man to death for asking if his daughter was all right

A father was jailed for at least 26 years today for killing a man for asking if his crying daughter was all right.

All Rhodes lead to Wembley for Huddersfield

Huddersfield set up an all-Yorkshire showdown with Sheffield United at Wembley on Saturday week as they went through to the League One play-off final 3-2 on aggregate despite losing 2-1 to MK Dons.

I may look to be joking with David Seaman, but inside I'm hurting after Sheffield United's 2003 FA Cup defeat

Neil Warnock: My lifelong love for the Cup has always gone unrequited

What I Learnt This Week

Double from captain Holt helps Norwich defeat Magpies

Norwich 4 Newcastle 2

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?